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James Harden bails himself out with a long three after nearly dribbling out the shot clock (VIDEO)

Jan 5, 2013, 10:07 PM EDT

James Harden has the green light 100 percent of the time in his new role with the Houston Rockets, although this possession midway through the fourth quarter during a tight game with the Cavaliers probably wasn’t what his coaching staff had in mind when gifting him with that responsibility.

Harden receives the ball with about 13 seconds left on the shot clock, with his team clinging to a three-point lead and Dion Waiters defending. He initiates the drive, before being cut off by Waiters, whose expert defensive effort here should not go unnoticed.

Harden retreats, and too much dribbling becomes problematic, as the ball gets away from him and nearly rolls out of bounds. Harden not only saves it, but manages to get around Waiters and launch an awkward 30-foot three-point attempt as the shot clock expires.

Of course, it goes down.

Harden finished with 29 points and seven steals in 38 minutes, and the Rockets got the 112-104 win over the Cavaliers.

  1. nhimunoz314 - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    just 1 player away from being a legit contender….

  2. thevza - Jan 5, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Meh… Kobe Bryant has a possession exactly like this at least once a game. Except when he finally takes the shot, there’s usually a hand in his face.

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:09 AM

      …You do realize that this possession is being highlighted as an example of terrible decision-making by a guard who gets bailed out by making a lucky shot, right?

      • bossplayer213 - Jan 6, 2013 at 3:06 AM

        …You do realize that this possession is being highlighted as an example of terrible decision-making by a guard who gets bailed out by making a lucky shot, right?


        How is this an example of “terrible decision-making”? There is 13 seconds on the shot clock, Harden has the rock in his hands and is trying to make something happen as every other star does. I don’t see how it’s “terrible decision-making” that he happens to lose his handle. It was an awkward play at best, and an unbelievable shot.

      • nbascreed - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:10 AM

        How is this terrible decision making? Watch the play. It was a designed side pin down for a j, into 1:1 if the shot is not there. The reason he didn’t pass is because he was NOT supposed to. Some of the writers and commenters on this board really get my goat.

        It’s CLEAR that they’ve never played competitively at even a relatively high level or they wouldn’t be so smug. Harden had the ball for 11 seconds and that was because of two reasons. 1, Waiters did a good job of staying on top of the initial screen and 2, he poked the ball away on his initial drive.

        You could find a 10 second one man possession in every Thunder, Heat, Laker, Clipper, Net, Knick or Celtic game this year. Give me a break.

      • madmediaman - Jan 6, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        That play was very Westbrook-esque.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jan 6, 2013 at 11:13 PM

      It’s always about the lakers huh? Blah blah.

  3. ron05342 - Jan 6, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    On a side note, Cleveland has to have the worst TV announcers in the league.

    • saint1997 - Jan 6, 2013 at 6:17 AM

      just thinking that. I hate it when they don’t appreciate the other teams talent. The announcers for teams like Knicks, Warriors etc. never do that. It’s frustrating

  4. danielcp0303 - Jan 6, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    Harden was terrible tonight and he ended up with 29 points and 7 steals. That’s the kind of season he’s having so far. Rockets got a good one

  5. madmediaman - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    I really don’t see how this is a “bailout” or “long three.” After too much dribbling Harden gets himself past the defender, gets his feet underneath him and gets his shoulders square, getting off a good look at the 3 about 1 foot behind the line.

    Most of the blame for this has to fall on bad defense by Waiters. Sure he does a great job defending Harden up to the :05 mark, then inexplicably allows a left handed player to drive left on him while cutting off Harden’s right. Heck even the announcer says “don’t let him go left.”

    When I read the headline I thought this was some crazy falling away three from 5-6 feet beyond the arc…

    • denverhoopdreams - Jan 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      You have to remember, blogging is 85 percent criticism, and only 15 percent good heart. Especially on PBT. If it’s not a team that will get all-star treatment on the court they wont on here.

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